350 mile cycle trip will be ‘a kind of therapy’ for grieving Lancing son

Martyn Feather and friend ahead of their cycle trip
Martyn Feather and friend ahead of their cycle trip

A former graphic designer from Lancing, who spent five years as a full time carer for his mother until her death in March, is cycling 350 miles to fundraise for dementia charities.

Martyn Feather, of Beachcroft Place, Lancing, said vascular dementia had left his mother Jean – a proud Yorkshire woman who travelled around Europe with her soldier husband – a ‘mere shadow of her former self’.

Caring for bedbound Jean had been a 24/7 task for Martyn, who documented his experiences and provided practical advice in his blog, design4dementia.blogspot.co.uk.

In the difficult weeks since her death on Monday, March 6, Martyn has come up with a plan for a ten-day cycle trip to raise funds for Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society in honour of his mother.

“Whatever I can do to help others living with dementia, and those family members who care for them, I’ll do it,” he said.

“That will be Mum’s legacy.”

The trip will start from Southwick Community Church and end at John Keay House, in St Austell, Cornwall – where Martyn’s mother worked for many years as personal assistant to the managing director of English China Clays.

Martyn said of the trip: “It’s a kind of therapy.

“Going through and organising it, it’s helped me.”

The 60-year-old, who enjoys cycling but has never travelled such a distance before, will be joined by his friend and former neighbour, Allan Lind.

Their journey, which starts on Sunday, September 10, will follow national cycle routes, taking in landmarks including the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The most challenging aspect will be ‘the hills and the wind’, Martyn anticipated.

He hopes the trip will raise awareness of dementia – a disease which has no cure but ‘affects so many people’, he said.

He will document his journey and his preparations in a blog: cycling4dementia.blogspot.co.uk